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Italy

From its sophisticated north to its sun-soaked south, gay travellers love irresistible Italy.

The travel cognoscenti agree: Italy is a must-visit. Its history spans a wealth of empires that have contributed to its worldwide artistic and architectural significance. By tossing a coin in Trevi Fountain or meandering the monolithic Colosseum, you are engaging with the very roots of European culture. During the Renaissance, household names like Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael shot the country to prominence. But Italy never peaked during a by-gone era—it continues to be a leader in fashion, food and cinema today. Perhaps poet Anna Akhmatova said it best when she described Italy as a dream that will keep returning for the rest of your life.


Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Rome
  • Currency: Euro
  • Languages: Italian
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct

LGBT Rights in Italy

Lesbian Italy Travel

Best Places to Visit in Italy

More Info

Italy presents quite the conundrum for LGBT travellers. On the one hand there’s plenty of reason to think Italy is on track to becoming a largely gay-welcoming country as young Italians seem in favour of our rights. At the same time, Italy is the epicenter of the Roman-Catholic church and much of the country remains steadfastly Christian, often maintaining outdated Christian ‘values’. Consequently, LGBT PDA—especially in rural regions—can and does ruffle feathers.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Civil Unions
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Illegal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal in some contexts

Although smaller than one might expect for such a populous and educated European country, there is a thriving gay scene in Rome, Milan and Bologna. Annual Pride events are held throughout the country. And some coastal towns such as Torre del Lago remain ever-popular summer vacation spots for LGBT people.

Gay Villages in Italy

Rome: “Gay Street” or Via di San Giovanni is a small strip of gay-oriented bars and restaurants beside the colloseum. While not big enough to be considered a Village per se, it is still worth mentioning.
Milan: Via Lecco street near the Porta Venezia metro station
Bologna: Cassero 

Pride Festivals in Italy

Rome Pride: Annually in June
Milan Pride: Annually in June
Bologna Pride: Annually in June

Best Gay Bars in Italy

Rome: Coming Out (Gay/mixed bar and restaurant)
Rome: My Bar (Gay/mixed bar and restaurant)
Rome: Beige (Gay cocktail bar)
Milan: Leccomilano (Mixed crowd)
Milan: Chiringay by Tropical Island (In summer only. Outdoor popup gay bar)
Milan: Afterline (Gay bar and club)
Milan: Club Plastic (Gay club)
Bologna: Barattolo (Young gay bar)

Best Lesbian Bars in Italy

Milan: Leccomilano (Every Saturday is ladies night)
Bologna: Cassero (Bar and community centre with some dancing. Mixed crowd but popular with ladies.) 

5. Lake Como

Lake Como is the poshest vacation destination in all of Italy. And a simple boat ride across its serene waters will show you why.

4. Tuscany & Florence

Weeks could be set aside exploring this picturesque wine region, uncorking the nation’s gastronomic history one glass at a time. But please don’t neglect the provincial capital either. Not only does Florence house some of the world’s greatest Renaissance art, but the cobblestone city is a masterpiece in its own right.

3. Venice

The Floating City is perhaps the most romanticized destination in Italy. Whether you’re exploring by foot or gondola, you’ll be mesmerized by this waterworld’s canals, bridges and plazas.

2. Rome

If you find yourself experiencing a case of the overwhelmsies, you’re not alone. Rome tends to disorientate as much as it does enchant and beguile. But with gelato in hand, a simple evening stroll through the Eternal City will become one of those travel memories that stays with you for a lifetime.

1. Amalfi Coast

Steep mountains plunge into sapphire water lapping against salt-crusted rocks. Beaches are made of sand so white you might mistake it for snow. Sundrenched villas and Italian towns are separated by humid woodlands and olive groves. If this all sounds very poetic, well, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everyone from Wagner to Williams have attempted to capture the beauty of this strip in heavenly words—but none have ever succeeded.

Best Time to Visit: Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct are the best times of year to visit. During high season you can expect hours-long lineups to see most attractions as well as soaring prices on accommodations. Meanwhile, the country has a tendency to shut off during the low season.

Electricity: Type F- and L-Socket

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (GMT+2)

Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Italy, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Visas: Visas are typically not required for Americans, Australians, Canadians, and residents of the United Kingdom visiting Italy for up to 90 days. However, some exceptions do exists. Click here to learn more.

September 14, 2020
LGBT Rights in Italy

Italy presents quite the conundrum for LGBT travellers. On the one hand there’s plenty of reason to think Italy is on track to becoming a largely gay-welcoming country as young Italians seem in favour of our rights. At the same time, Italy is the epicenter of the Roman-Catholic church and much of the country remains steadfastly Christian, often maintaining outdated Christian ‘values’. Consequently, LGBT PDA—especially in rural regions—can and does ruffle feathers.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Civil Unions
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Illegal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal in some contexts

Lesbian Italy Travel

Although smaller than one might expect for such a populous and educated European country, there is a thriving gay scene in Rome, Milan and Bologna. Annual Pride events are held throughout the country. And some coastal towns such as Torre del Lago remain ever-popular summer vacation spots for LGBT people.

Gay Villages in Italy

Rome: “Gay Street” or Via di San Giovanni is a small strip of gay-oriented bars and restaurants beside the colloseum. While not big enough to be considered a Village per se, it is still worth mentioning.
Milan: Via Lecco street near the Porta Venezia metro station
Bologna: Cassero 

Pride Festivals in Italy

Rome Pride: Annually in June
Milan Pride: Annually in June
Bologna Pride: Annually in June

Best Gay Bars in Italy

Rome: Coming Out (Gay/mixed bar and restaurant)
Rome: My Bar (Gay/mixed bar and restaurant)
Rome: Beige (Gay cocktail bar)
Milan: Leccomilano (Mixed crowd)
Milan: Chiringay by Tropical Island (In summer only. Outdoor popup gay bar)
Milan: Afterline (Gay bar and club)
Milan: Club Plastic (Gay club)
Bologna: Barattolo (Young gay bar)

Best Lesbian Bars in Italy

Milan: Leccomilano (Every Saturday is ladies night)
Bologna: Cassero (Bar and community centre with some dancing. Mixed crowd but popular with ladies.) 

Best Places to Visit in Italy

5. Lake Como

Lake Como is the poshest vacation destination in all of Italy. And a simple boat ride across its serene waters will show you why.

4. Tuscany & Florence

Weeks could be set aside exploring this picturesque wine region, uncorking the nation’s gastronomic history one glass at a time. But please don’t neglect the provincial capital either. Not only does Florence house some of the world’s greatest Renaissance art, but the cobblestone city is a masterpiece in its own right.

3. Venice

The Floating City is perhaps the most romanticized destination in Italy. Whether you’re exploring by foot or gondola, you’ll be mesmerized by this waterworld’s canals, bridges and plazas.

2. Rome

If you find yourself experiencing a case of the overwhelmsies, you’re not alone. Rome tends to disorientate as much as it does enchant and beguile. But with gelato in hand, a simple evening stroll through the Eternal City will become one of those travel memories that stays with you for a lifetime.

1. Amalfi Coast

Steep mountains plunge into sapphire water lapping against salt-crusted rocks. Beaches are made of sand so white you might mistake it for snow. Sundrenched villas and Italian towns are separated by humid woodlands and olive groves. If this all sounds very poetic, well, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everyone from Wagner to Williams have attempted to capture the beauty of this strip in heavenly words—but none have ever succeeded.

More Info

Best Time to Visit: Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct are the best times of year to visit. During high season you can expect hours-long lineups to see most attractions as well as soaring prices on accommodations. Meanwhile, the country has a tendency to shut off during the low season.

Electricity: Type F- and L-Socket

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (GMT+2)

Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Italy, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Visas: Visas are typically not required for Americans, Australians, Canadians, and residents of the United Kingdom visiting Italy for up to 90 days. However, some exceptions do exists. Click here to learn more.

September 14, 2020

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